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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 04/01/1971

Pilot Corporation (Headquarters)

Phone: (865) 588-7488Fax: (865) 450-2801

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Customer Complaints Summary

8 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service8
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints8

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (8)
10/05/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
We purchased Diesel Fuel at the Flying J Travel Center. The total was approximately $ for the fuel. We were traveling east and after we passed a warning indicating message came on in my truck, "Water in Fuel Drain Filter". I had never seen this warning indicator so I asked my passenger to refer to the owners manual to see what it was. The manual states that you should stop and turn off the truck as soon as it is safe to do so. We pulled off to further assess the situation. After closely reading the owners manual and diesel supplement I determined that I could not perform the steps identified on an uneven surface so I started the truck and moved to the next exit. At exit there was a ford dealership so I pulled into that dealership. I turned off the truck and started the process of draining the water off of the diesel fuel conditioner module. A couple of the maintenance techs came out to see if they could assist. They observed me draining the water out of the module. The tech then attempted to reset the computer so the warning would go off. After driving for a very short time, the warning came back on along with a second warning of Reduced Power. I returned to the Ford Dealership for support. The ford diesel mechanic replaced both fuel filters, drained the fuel system (which produced more water and a rust like substance), dried the sensors and reset the system. The only location that I bought fuel that day was at the Travel Center.

I called the store to let them know that there was bad fuel. The manager wasn't on duty and I spoke with a team lead. She said that she would let maintenance know to check the systems. She told me that the store managerwould be in on Monday and to follow up with her. I called Monday but could not get through, I did leave a message. I called again on Tuesday but once again, I couldn't get an answer. I then went to the Pilot website and submitted a complaint. Risk Management called me on Wednesday and again on Thursday to get information concerning my complaint. On Friday , I was called again by Risk Management to go over what had happened. I received a call stating that after investigating the complaint there was no reason for them to think that the issue was with any fuel that I purchased from the Flying J Travel Center.

Desired Settlement
I entered into a contract with Flying J Travel Centers for quality diesel fuel in exchange for monetary compensation. They failed to provide the product as specified and provided a contaminated product that caused harm to my vehicle requiring maintenance.

I would like the purchase price of the fuel returned, approximately $. I would like for the maintenance that was a direct result of Flying J Travel Centers contaminated product to be paid for, approximately $. That's a total of $.

Business Response
Please allow this letter to serve as PFJ's formal response to Mr. complaint regarding problems he had with his truck after fueling. While it is unfortunate that Mr. has had problems with his truck, PFJ has been unable to find any evidence to substantiate his claim that the problems resulted from contaminants in the fuel he purchased at the travel center.
Mr. complaint states that he purchased fuel at the travel center at approximately 7:30 A.M. He reports that some time later his truck displayed warning lights, and maintenance was required to remove water from his fuel system. Once Mr. contacted PFJ through our website (please note that the travel center is operated not by PFJ, but by another company; thus, PFJ was not aware of Mr. communications with staff at the travel center), PFJ immediately initiated an investigation, which revealed that the travel center sold over twenty-five thousand (25,000) gallons of diesel fuel that day, in two hundred ninety-seven (297) separate transactions. PFJ has not received any other complaints from any of those customers, or any customers purchasing fuel in the days surrounding that day, regarding a problem with the fuel purchased from that location. PFJ's Risk Management Department also confirmed through tank monitoring devices at the travel center that the store had plenty of diesel fuel on hand and that there was no water or other contaminants in the fuel.
PFJ can empathize with Mr. concerns and has investigated his allegations to the fullest extent, as PFJ certainly takes its product quality seriously and would want to quickly correct any problems that might be found during its investigation. There were, however, no problems found with PFJ's product during PFJ's investigation. Mr. complaint stated that a rust-like substance was cleaned out of his fuel system
as part of the maintenance he undertook when his warning lights came on; thus, it is certainly possible that the water had been building up in his fuel system for some time and resulted from causes that occurred well before Mr. purchase of fuel at the travel center. Our investigation does not support Mr. allegations that the problems he experienced with his truck were caused by the fuel that he purchased from the travel center. Accordingly, PFJ cannot accept liability for any damages to Mr.vehicle. PFJ must again respectfully decline to reimburse Mr. for the fuel he purchased or for the maintenance costs on his truck for the reasons set forth above.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information in connection with the above-referenced complaint.


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
This is pretty much the response that I expected. It follows the pattern of deniability that is in the other complaints with the BBB against PFJ. The facts did change from what I was told on the phone by PFJ Risk Management. I was told that 8000 gallons were sold on the day that I bought my fuel, which coincidentally is the same amount in another complaint filed with the BBB. I know the full circumstances & I know that I received bad fuel from store. My 2015 F-350vehicle has a plastic fuel tank that cannot rust, so to try to insulate that it was there prior to buying fuel at their store is a non-starter. The only other recourse I have is to file a lawsuit, which would benefit the attorneys more than me financially. I have the report from the Ford dealership that completed the required repairs stating that it had to be the last fuel that I purchased. Pilot Flying J can ignore my complaint & hide behind paper reports, but if they continue to work this way they will start to decline due to a lack of customer confidence. I know that they have lost me as a customer and I will continue to let everyone I meet know what kind of company they are.

07/01/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
pump #1 did not stop as expected, causing damaged of Filter connected to gas tank. Risk management without explanation. the only comment that this individual told me that it clearly says on the side of every pump not to leave pump unattended.( we will not be responsible) after i mentioned to him that i went to the same gas station the weekend and took several pictures b/c no such sign near any pump or building itself; and if he was not able to help me resolve my concern that i would like to address it with his supervisor. He stated that it is what it is and he will not allow me to talk to a supervisor. i find it hard to believe that this being a company product malfunction and they fail to at least give an acceptable answer to customers.

Desired Settlement
Resolution to my problem would be to be reimbursed for Diagnostic fee and part replacement charge on my Vehicle.

Business Response
We checked the recording of the customer leaving the pump (you can see the notice not to leave on it). We also had the pump checked. We verified that there were no issues with the pump recorded in the days before or after the customer had issues with the pump. We determined that the issues the customer had were limited only to him. We are not responsible for the error the customer made.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
i believe this is an insult and unethical for company not taking responsibility for their product malfunctioning, when all the facts are on top of the table. Video clearly shows that pump #1 malfunctioned.

Final Business Response
Please see our previous answer.

12/22/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Water in diesel fuel that stalled my vehicle along I75N, required tow, and expensive service by Ford Dealer next day. flying J I40/I75 Watts Rd #369
On Sunday morning,11/23/14 I purchased 16+ gals of diesel fuel from pump number 16 at aprox 8:00am. My tank was half full as I had just driven in 300 miles and I wanted to top it off for the final 300 miles ride home after a 1500 mile road trip with no issues. 25 miles up I75 north my engine stalled and died, water separator was full, engine would not run. I called AAA for a tow, and immediately called Flying J watts road and talked to the manager Steven. Explained that I was fairly sure I had water in my fuel system as I just got fuel there. He said he would look into it. Was then told to call back Monday and talk to jeff who was manager that day. I got towed to a Pep Boys in hopes a fuel filter would fix the problem, it did not. Had truck towed into Cunningham Ford Monday morning. they removed fuel tank and found excessive water, fuel pump and sender locked up. They save a sample that showed water in the lines, fuel rail, and tank. I could not a driven in to FJ if I had that in the tank the mechanic said. This was about $2280 repair, along with $215 towing, and $120 to refuel truck.
I filed a phone complaint with corp and they said they would check into the pump monitors. They responded with saying they had no other complaints, and no evidence of water in that tank. Then said I did not get the water from them. I explained that I was told that I could not have driven in with that much water in the system to begin with. He said I should not have been able to drive out of the truck stop if it was that bad. the fuel lines and filter hold aprox 1 gal of fuel, plus I had half a tank of good clean fuel already. so it is very reasonable that I could have driven 25 miles before the contaminated fuel settled at the bottom and got ingested in the engine. There is no other way water could have got into my fuel system!

Desired Settlement
I am seeking the reimbursment of my repair bill at the Cunningham Ford service dept, my towing expensive, and the costs to refill my fuel tank. I missed a day of work as a result of this but have not included this.

Ford $2280
Towing $215
Fuel $120

Business Response
We sold over 8,000 gallons of gas that day and no other complaints were received. We find no validity in the customers complaint.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I was on the last leg of a trip with not a single issue. I drove in with no problems. Then only 25 miles after filling up at this station I broke down with water in my fuel system.

They said "later in the day" I contacted them? I contacted them >immediately< after I broke down while waiting for a tow. This was aprox within 1 hour after I got the bad fuel, NOT later in the day. I have a 'call in report' from requested which will show this time line as to when I asked for help.

The mechanic and Service mgr at the dealership, which happens to be within a mile of corp FJ/Pilot, said there was no way I would have been able to drive to the FJ with this much water in my fuel. the only reason I made it 25 miles away was that the fuel system still had clean fuel in the lines from the previous tank. I had driven aprox 300 miles on that tank before getting there so I know there was no water in it then or I would not have made it there.

I asked someone from corp if they wanted to come and see what was drained from the tank but they refused anymore communication as they apparently already decided it was not their fault. This particular station had just recently had a water issue in fuel when a contractor damaged an under ground tank. Things happen and somehow I got water in my fuel from this pump. There is no other place I could have got it.

I am asking for the cost to repair my vehicle to get me back on the road, I think that is reasonable. No other expenses such as lodging or missed work.

I can submit the actual dealer repair invoices along with tow expenses.

After being a regular customer for nearly 10 years I expected a better response from them.

Final Business Response
Our position is unchanged.

11/17/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Received bad gas and Pilot is refusing to pay repair costs becasue they said they sold xx number of gallons and had no other complaints.My check engine light came on so I drove to my local **** to ask them to put the tester on my car as they have done in the past. They said something about my octane and basically I must have gotten bad gas and asked when I got gas last. The next morning I called Pilot and the Manager (*****) said if it was bad gas she would reimbursement me for the bad gas, I told her that ******* told me bad gas. I want Gas - $00.00, Fuel Cleaner - $0.00 Repair - $000.00,Tow - $00.00, 2 days missed work a total of $000.00

Business Response
That investigation revealed that Store / sold over eight thousand gallons of gasoline on ///// to over seven hundred customers. Store / did not receive any other complaints from even one (1) of those seven hundred customers regarding a problem with the fuel purchased from that location. PFJ's Risk Management Department also confirmed that the store had plenty of fuel on hand and that the fuel tanks had no water present in them. Accordingly, PFJ could find no support that the problems that customer experienced with her car were caused by the fuel that she purchased at PFJ. Even though no evidence supported customers claim that the gasoline that she purchased at PFJ caused damage to her car, as a gesture of goodwill, PFJ offered Ms. ****** a refund in the form of a gift card in the amount of $00.00 customer refused to accept the gift card.

10/15/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I purchase a card from this pilot,went to load it on my debit card it said insufficient funds. I been back and forth with this pilot and money pak for 2 weeks trying to find out where is my money. Money pak now is stating that pilot voided out the transaction. pilot is saying the transaction went through. So I asked to speak with the regional manager. the corporate office stated they didn't have a number for him, but she will have him to contact me. I just want my money back!

Business Response
It appears that Ms. ***** first noticed a problem with her ******** on August *** ***** when she contacted Travel Center General Manager ****** ******* who informed Charging Party that the transaction went through. It appears that after speaking to Mr. ******* Charging Party also contacted ***** Dot to report her issue. PFJ did not hear anything further from Ms. ***** until September ** **** when she contacted PFJ's customer service department, who began researching the cause of the problem. On September *** ***** PFJ's customer service department made contact with Green ****** customer service department, who informed PFJ's customer service representative that Green ****** investigation was active. Ultimately, PFJ decided to refund Ms. ***** the *** ******* and No/100 Dollars that she used to purchase the *****, When PFJ contacted Mr. ***** to let her know, she explained that ***** *** had already refunded her money.

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